ADA presents Distinguished Service Award at 149th annual session

Oct. 1, 2008
Dental profession bestows Leslie Seldin, DDS, with its highest honor.

CHICAGO--The American Dental Association will honor Leslie Seldin, DDS, with the 2008 Distinguished Service Award at the 149th Annual Session and World Marketplace Exhibition Oct. 16-19 in San Antonio. The Distinguished Service Award is the ADA's highest honor bestowed on an individual.

ADA President Mark J. Feldman, DMD, will present the 2008 ADA Distinguished Service Award Oct. 17 to Dr. Seldin of New York. The ADA Annual Session is expected to draw more than 30,000 dental professionals to San Antonio's Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Dr. Feldman, a longtime friend of Dr. Seldin, credits Dr. Seldin as one of his mentors.

"Over the years, I kind of followed (Dr. Seldin) along in the New York State Dental Association," Dr. Feldman said. "He became president and I became chair of the Council on Insurance. He became an ADA delegate and then I became one. He became chair of the ADA Council on Insurance (now the ADA Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs) and when he left that position, I became a member of the council and ultimately became its chair."

Dr. Seldin, who earned his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1962, followed in his father's footsteps to become a dentist by earning his dental degree in 1966 from the Columbia School of Dental and Oral Surgery. Dr. Seldin practiced general dentistry in New York for nearly 40 years and became a well-known educator, author, editor, and leader.

Dr. Seldin is an associate clinical professor at the Columbia College of Dental Medicine where he chairs the Dean's Advisory Council. He also serves as the vice chair of the ADA's National Campaign for Dental Education: Our Legacy - Our Future.

"This is a very overwhelming honor, and totally unexpected," Dr. Seldin said. "I have enjoyed every opportunity afforded me to repay the profession that has provided me with a wonderful career and so many amazing experiences. I will continue to serve dentistry in any way I can."

Dr. Seldin is an expert on the ethical and legal standards of dental practice. His expertise in professional liability (malpractice) insurance has led him to represent the dental profession on many levels, most notably presenting testimony before Senate and Congressional committees. Dr. Seldin has also written numerous articles and essays, addressing the issues of risk management, and malpractice insurance and ethics.

In addition, Dr. Seldin has served as a consumer advisor spokesperson for the ADA since 1991, representing the ADA in numerous interviews with the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, and NBC's the "Today Show."

Dr. Seldin is a former president of the Dental Society of the State of New York and a former first vice president of the ADA. He served as chair of the ADA Future Dentistry Project, which was responsible for developing a blueprint for dentistry's future. Dr. Seldin is married and the father of two sons.

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